He just wants her as a friend with benefits

Knowing he's not the one and getting over the pain of losing someone you loved is never easy.

Dear Thelma,

I'm in pain and I don't know what to do. I met a guy three years ago. We dated and then, he ended our relationship because he could not commit himself. I want a guy who can spend time with me a few times a week.

Doing stuff like having dinner, going to the movies or just staying home to talk. Someone who's willing to travel with me and talk to me on the phone when we don't meet up.

Is that too much to ask for? He did say that he didn't want any commitments from the start. I stayed because I thought he would change his mind.

But as it turns out, I was stupid. He ended things in August and since then, I've tried so hard to be strong. I go out with my friends, laugh with them, but I still feel empty because, at the end of the day, I don't have someone special to go back to.

I loved him a lot, despite his faults. I knew this day would come, that he didn't want me like I wanted him. He said he would do all the things that a couple does, including have sex with me.

But he is not my boyfriend. Then, why did he bother to see me when I was in trouble? I know I shouldn't want this guy anymore, but I still long for him.

Is it because there's no one else? Now that it is completely gone, I feel nothing is left. He is now in another state while I live in KL.

He said he would still look for me when he's back, but he's just a friend with benefits. I don't want to do it with a guy that doesn't love me but, at same time, I do.

How do I stop thinking of him? I don't know why I would still want someone who deserted me. Is it because of the sex? Friends tell me to keep myself busy but no matter what I'm doing, I'll still be thinking of him. - Still in pain

Thelma replies

Finding "The One" is hard. And, you are bound to find some bad apples along the way. That is what you have to keep in mind. As hard as it is to get over it, your ex-boyfriend was the bad apple.

Yes, it is painful. The pain is twofold as it comes from the breakup, and also from knowing that he didn't return your feelings. You have invested three years of your life into this relationship.

And it hurts when you felt so much for him, yet all he saw in you was a convenient sex buddy.

Your pain is understandable. But imagine how bad it would have been had you both not broken up, and you were strung along in the belief that this was true love. This is an important aspect to consider when you are trying to make sense of all that has happened.

It has only been three months since you broke up with him. Sad to say, but the pain is going to need longer to go away. You need to persevere and remind yourself that he is not the right one for you.

Focus on yourself now. Spending time with friends is good. But there is also nothing wrong in spending time with yourself. It may be better to get over the pain if you stop running away from it and distracting yourself.

Cry as much as you need to. Feel as much anger as you think is your right to feel. It will hurt when it happens, but it will also help you get over these feelings. It is better to let them out than to bottle them up.

Do not let thoughts about the good things he did distract you from the fact that he is not the one. No one can know his motives for coming to your aid when you needed it.

Do not read too much into it. It is best to just take things at face value. That means, go with what he said to you rather than try to read into his behaviour.

He said at the start that he did not want to commit, and his actions have confirmed that. The rest were your expectations and perceptions.

Also, he did not give you what you wanted in a relationship. Did you not feel hurt and unhappy? Would you be willing to put yourself through a lifetime of feeling like this?

You are right in thinking that one of the reasons you are feeling this bad is because you are alone. Perhaps it is because you really want to be in a relationship. Or maybe you are being pressured to be in one.

Whatever the case, it is normal to desire him and to still want to be with him. You loved him. It will take time for these feelings to pass. Do not rush into any decisions now.

At all costs, you want to avoid a rebound relationship. Or worse, going back to him with the wishful desire that he will change. He is not going to change. It is not your fault. For whatever reason, he is not ready for a relationship now.

Do you want to hang around until he changes his mind? And, while waiting for him to do that, are you willing to be treated like an object which he can use when he likes?

You know what you want. And he cannot give you that. Do not compromise. It will be to your own detriment. Mingle with other people. Get to know others.

Get to know yourself. The better you know yourself, the more respect you will have for you. When you respect yourself, you will not allow others to treat you any less.

It is better to know people's true colours before you commit to a long-term relationship or marriage. It will be a lot less painful and messy.

Getting over the wrong one can be just as hard. Knowing your ex-boyfriend is not the one will save you a lot more heartache. It is an old saying, but it still holds true: time will heal.